Best drums under $1500?

sage32

Senior Member
In your opinion what are the best drums in this price range considering shell quality, craftsmanship, customization options or lack thereof, and affordability?

Also do you think at this price range a used kit would be better than buying new?
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
You can get a pro-level kit used in this price range. That would be the smarter move.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
sage32:

Are you going to haul these drums to and from gigs?
Are they for home use only?
What kind of music will you play on them?
Will you use them for studio recordings?

I assume you mean $1500 for drum shells only. No snare drum, no hardware, no cymbals.


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porter

Platinum Member
You can get a pro-level kit used in this price range. That would be the smarter move.
Buy used, definitely.

ORRRR....

Mapex Saturn. That's the only one I'd really recommend in this range, and despite their company practice re: patenting a widely-used bearing edge for lame business reasons, it's a fantastic kit.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Mapex saturns all day.

I have saturns, a sleishman omega, a sonor s-class and a tama birch/bubinga and the saturns are my best kit.
 

sage32

Senior Member
sage32:

Are you going to haul these drums to and from gigs?
Are they for home use only?
What kind of music will you play on them?
Will you use them for studio recordings?

I assume you mean $1500 for drum shells only. No snare drum, no hardware, no cymbals.


.
I'm looking for an all around kit that I'd be comfortable taking to gigs and ideally having them sound great both live and in studio recordings.
I play primarily rock music so bigger shells (22 or 24 kick).
I don't need hardware but a matching snare would be nice. Or if the kit was cheap enough that I could find a great snare separately and still make the budget would be great.
 

sage32

Senior Member
Mapex saturns all day.

I have saturns, a sleishman omega, a sonor s-class and a tama birch/bubinga and the saturns are my best kit.
What do you really like about your saturns? And which configuration do you have?

The saturns have definitely caught my eye and I've heard very good things about them. Do the saturns have any strong competitors from other brands in this price range?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Do the saturns have any strong competitors from other brands in this price range?
Yes. At $1500, the answer is "All of them". Gretsch, Yamaha, Pearl, etc, etc.

Please tell us more about what you need, what styles you intend to play, etc.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
How many drums are you looking to buy? If you want a Tama Bell Brass snare, you don't have enough money for that. If you want a Guru snare, you are right on the edge of having enough money. If you want a 9 piece kit, you are looking at some of the bottom lines within the various manufacturer's brands. If you are only looking for a 3 piece kit without a snare, you have more options for higher end drums.

You need to provide people with more information than "what are the best drums for $1500" if you want a answer.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Also heavily depends on what configuration you want. I'm very particular about my shell sizes so last few kits I bought had to be special ordered. I've never seen my kit configuration on display at a drum shop (24,13,15,18).

But if you're cool with more standard sizes, like kits typically kept in inventory, then you have a ton of options. Also, you'll find a ton of such kits on the used market.

What kits have caught your eye so far? Post them here and you'll get lots of feedback.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
You can get a DW Design kit for $1250 (from MF)... And it puts the performance series to shame which costs ALOT more...

That being said.. and thats the way i went.. if i had the time and a good craigslist in my area i would buy a use yamaha kit before anything DW again.. you can find $4000 kits for 1k.. won't have that new kit smell. but you will have a much better deal..
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Every major manufacturer will have a set in that price range that will do you well and last a lifetime except maybe DW. However you will get the best deal by buying a better set used as others have said. shop wisely
 

Destroyer772

Gold Member
In your opinion what are the best drums in this price range considering shell quality, craftsmanship, customization options or lack thereof, and affordability?

Also do you think at this price range a used kit would be better than buying new?
My Gretsch Catalina Maples I bought new this year are some of the better drums I have ever heard. $1000 even and leaves you room to buy hardware. I put Evans black chrome heads all around this set and it sounds great. Buying used is great if the owner took care of them but buying online you never know. Here is a little clip, Im no pro just a guy who likes to play but i think the drums sound good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h3e_V40sVc
 
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sage32

Senior Member
How many drums are you looking to buy? If you want a Tama Bell Brass snare, you don't have enough money for that. If you want a Guru snare, you are right on the edge of having enough money. If you want a 9 piece kit, you are looking at some of the bottom lines within the various manufacturer's brands. If you are only looking for a 3 piece kit without a snare, you have more options for higher end drums.

You need to provide people with more information than "what are the best drums for $1500" if you want a answer.
At the very least I'm looking for a 4 piece kit with a snare, or a 3 piece kit and i'll buy the snare separately. I've seen plenty of used higher end snares priced very well on ebay.

Ideally I would like a 5 piece, 1 up 2 down in rock sizes. 24 kick would be ideal but I could make due with a 22. Also I see a ton of kits that come with 2 rack toms (10-12) and to be honest I don't think I'll need the 10. I play rock and I like the feel of bigger toms, so 12 or 13 on the rack and either 14-16 or 16-18 on the floors.
 

sage32

Senior Member
Also heavily depends on what configuration you want. I'm very particular about my shell sizes so last few kits I bought had to be special ordered. I've never seen my kit configuration on display at a drum shop (24,13,15,18).

But if you're cool with more standard sizes, like kits typically kept in inventory, then you have a ton of options. Also, you'll find a ton of such kits on the used market.

What kits have caught your eye so far? Post them here and you'll get lots of feedback.
Your kit configuration sounds great! I'm looking for a basic 1 up 1 down ringo 4 piece, but ideally a 1 up 2 down in rock sizes. 24 kick is most ideal, but 22 would do. 12 or 13 on the rack and either 14-16 or 16-18 on the floors.

For a while I was looking at the Mapex Mydentity line because I can get exactly the sizes I want. If I went that route I'm planning a 1 up 3 down 24 kick, 13 rack, 15-16-18 floors all in maple. Definitely would be trouble trying to put together something like that without spending thousands on a custom special order.

But after doing more research I found more and more drummers saying that for the price of the Mydentity ($1300) you're basically paying for the customization and that there are plenty of better kits out there in that price range.

So far I've been looking at:
Mapex Mydentity
Mapex Meridian Maple (4 piece kits as low as $600 brand new)
Mapex Saturn
PDP Concept Maple
Tama Superstar Classic and Starclassic B/B
Gretsch Catalina Maple and Renown
Pork Pie Hip Pig and Lil Squealer
Ludwig Epic Pro and USA Keystone
And plenty more used kits
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
So far I've been looking at:
Mapex Mydentity
Mapex Meridian Maple (4 piece kits as low as $600 brand new)
Mapex Saturn
PDP Concept Maple
Tama Superstar Classic and Starclassic B/B
Gretsch Catalina Maple and Renown
Pork Pie Hip Pig and Lil Squealer
Ludwig Epic Pro and USA Keystone
And plenty more used kits
One to add to the list is a used C&C Player date. George Way also makes a similar series that is the F'ing BOMB, but they're at the edge of your budget range. This is probably the direction I'm heading next year.

When I was shopping, I had a $1000 budget for shells. I had a choice between a new Catalina or a used Renown. While the Catalinas are nice, the Renown feels like it is in an entirely different echelon.

The issue you face is going to be finding a used kit in the sizes you desire. Renowns come in a 13/16/24 config, and you'll have to order the 14 or 18 option tom separately. Most manufacturers do it this way. Once the manufacturer discontinues a finish, you're at the mercy of eBay when looking for option toms with the same finish.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
What do you really like about your saturns? And which configuration do you have?

The saturns have definitely caught my eye and I've heard very good things about them. Do the saturns have any strong competitors from other brands in this price range?
I have an older Saturn 3, sizes are 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 22, 14sn. I started with a fusion pack and bought add ons.

They have a unique sound and are competitively priced so no I don't think they have direct competitors. Just go on YouTube and have a listen.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Greenbrier music is selling new Saturns in the exotic finishes for $1,349. 2 up and 2 down...no snare. You might have a harder time finding a Saturn set with a 24". The Saturns sound bigger than they are so you might be surprised at how much low end you'll get out of a 22".
 

TWerner

Senior Member
I agree with buying used if you can find what you like. My son had only one requirement when I asked what kind of drums he wanted: Black. It turns out a nice black drum set is hard to find used, unless you are willing to buy on ebay. We wound up getting him a new 6 piece set of Tama Starclassic Performers in Piano Black, 10 12 14 16 22 5.5x14 for just under $1500 delivered.

If I'd had time, and no color requirement, we could have gotten something fancier used. And I say fancier, not better for a reason. Try not to buy into the advertising and marketing hype on expensive drums. A great drum set is simply a set that sounds the way you want it to and is made well enough to last a long time. When it comes to sound and tone, shell sizes and the head choice will trump shell material, shell wall design (ply or stave), shell thickness, or the number of lugs. Even the hoops can affect tone more than those other specs if you're comparing cast hoops to flanged sheet metal.

So if you can find something used that you love, that's the way to go. Put any money you save into new heads. If you can't find what you want used, you're still going to wind up with a beautiful kit.

Good luck with your search!
 
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